I remember being told “he just likes you” when a boy touched me and I didn’t like it.
I remember being told to “take it as a compliment” when a man leered at my breasts, or ass, or legs, or any other part of me.
I remember being told “he can’t help it, he’s a guy.”
I remember being told to dress a certain way because if you “look slutty” you’re asking for it.
I remember being told not to drink much because you’ll get taken advantage of.
I remember being told not to walk alone at night.
I remember being told/taught to carry mace/learn self-defense because I’m a target.
I remember the normalcy of girls being groped from the age of 11.
I remember their pubescent hands on my ass.
I remember having the back of my bra strap snapped.
I remember Slurpee becoming a euphemism for blowjob before I knew what euphemism meant or what a blowjob was.
I remember punching a boy in the face after he groped me in the hallway. Our fight was broken up and we were sent to the “counseling” office but neither of us was counseled or punished nor were our parents notified.
I remember complaining about the touching to school counselors.
I remember nothing changed.
I remember waiting at a bus stop when I was twelve when a man approached me and asked me how old I was. He told me I had a nice body for a twelve-year-old.
I remember walking home from the bus stop when a 1980s tan compact car slowly passed me, pulled ahead, and parked. The man got out of this car and sat on the hood. He had short brown hair, glasses, a red t-shirt and no pants. He began to masturbate.
I remember being groped on public transit.
I remember men cat calling me when I was eleven years old, too many times to count.
I remember men cat calling me when I was twelve years old, too many times to count.
I remember men cat calling me when I was thirteen years old, too many times to count.
I remember men cat calling me when I was fourteen years old, too many times to count.
I remember men cat calling me when I was fifteen years old, too many times to count.
I remember men cat calling me when I was sixteen years old, too many times to count.
I remember men cat calling me when I was seventeen years old, too many times to count…
I remember thinking one day recently, that with age comes the lack of cat calls.
I remember being called a dyke because I wasn’t interested in a guy.
I remember being groped by a stranger in one of the Pyramids of Giza.
I remember my therapist asking if I’d ever been sexually harassed, assaulted or abused. I said no.
I remember talking to my therapist about why I watched so many Lifetime movies and Law and Order SVU type of shows. She suggested again that perhaps there was some sort of sexual abuse. I said no.
I remember my friend telling me how a man she didn’t know grabbed her arm during a fellowship program to tell her to put her phone away. My immediate instinct was to look for this man so I could tell him to keep his hands to himself.
I remember hearing a gay man describe wanting to tell another man that he didn’t want to be touched but wanted to do so in such a way he wasn’t accusing that person of being some sort of rapist. I remember thinking that gay man now knows what it’s like to be a woman.
I remember being sexually harassed, assaulted, or abused repeatedly between the ages of eleven and……when? Good question. When will it stop? #MeToo